[FEATURED]: Octopus kapalae, sp. nov.

DWhatley

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Octopus kapalae, sp. nov.: A New Species of Octopus from Southeastern Australia
D. Rex Mitchell, A. Reid 2017 (pdf)

Over the last thirty years there has been a sizeable increase in our knowledge of octopus (Octopodidae) systematics. Most recent research on the Australian Octopodidae has focused on tropical (Norman 1992a, 1992b, 1992c, 1993a, 1993b, 1993c, 2000, 2001; Norman and Finn 2001) and southern temperate regions (Stranks 1990, 1996, 1998; Stranks and Norman 1992). Despite this, the general taxonomy of the Octopodidae worldwide remains comparatively poorly known, with many undescribed or inadequately defined species (Dunning et al. 1998; Norman and Hochberg 2005; Norman et al. 2016). Norman and Hochberg (2005) suggested a major revision of the group, giving detailed and accurate descriptions of all species. Nominal Octopus spp. currently known to inhabit south-eastern Australia include: O. australis Hoyle 1885; O. bulbus Norman 2001; O. micros Norman 2001; O. pallidus Hoyle 1885; O. pyrum Norman et al. 1997 and O. tetricus Gould 1852 (Reid, 2016). This paper describes a previously unidentified species of Octopus captured off the coast of southeastern Australia. It is one of a number of undescribed species reported from the FRV ‘Kapala’ collections between 1971 and 1979. The description is based on the qualitative and quantitative analysis of preserved specimens. The fi ndings in this paper unveil the unique suite of morphological attributes that show that O. kapalae, sp. nov. differs from all other species described from this region and elsewhere.
 

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